Quite often we as humans give the nod to spirituality, and a higher power, not because we are rational, but because we can choose to be irrational. I like to ponder what it is that makes us human. Why are we seemingly different than all other living creatures?
The power of humanity, in my opinion, is choice. All living things seem to play by the same rules (i.e. gravity, life, death, etc), except us humans can reason. We can understand the rules of right and wrong, yet choose to reject them.
This ability to evaluate our emotion and still decide for or against it is what we call willpower.
Tired? The evolution of our DNA elicits distinct responses in our body and mind that tell us so, and we are drawn to rest. Humans, however, can choose against this feeling to stay awake, for example. Hungry? We, for the simple need to survive, will seek out food. Humans, unlike a domesticated dog or a wild leopard, can look at a meal, however, and choose not to eat it.
NPR recently posted a great article discussing willpower. Psychologist Roy F. Baumeister and science writer John Tierney, argue that willpower is our “greatest human strength.” They note that practicing willpower is both exhausting and requires training no different than strength training.
As some of you tackle your Paleo Challenge (Tyler, Nikki, Brian), I encourage you to view your power of choice as an amazing gift of humanity. The “burn” you feel training Tabata squats, may not ever match the emotional “burn” of looking at that cupcake and saying, “No.”
Willpower: Respect it. Practice it. Be thankful for it.
9 Alternating KB Swings
6 Sit Ups
-Rest 1 Minute-